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Post by Booya22 on 10/12/19, 11:31 am

As my kids have progressed to high school and one from pre-school to elementary over the past few years, I am reminded that AGE PURE STILL SUCKS. Any validity to the rumors that US Soccer is thinking of going back to the school year system??

I've found that having a team with different grades is particularly problematic at 4 times:

1) The first season (whenever that may be) when kids can't understand when they can't play with their school (or preschool) friends.
2) Entering Kindergarten - When half the kids are in kindergarten & half are still in preschool, there is a huge different in mental abilities & focus. The preschoolers can't keep up and fall behind on the more difficult drills.
3) 8th & 9th grade - When half the team is playing high school soccer (current 2005s), it's a disaster.
4) 12th grade & In college - The fall birth days have it bad in their senior year (current 2001s).  

Age Pure is trying to help the top 0.01% of players while making the game less fun and more problematic for the other 99.99%. Please US Soccer correct your mistake.

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Post by smugrr on 10/12/19, 01:15 pm

Play Y when you are little. Problem solved.

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Post by NoSpinZone on 10/12/19, 02:22 pm

PSA is grade based. Go whine somewhere else.

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Post by CATX on 10/12/19, 02:25 pm

A lot of drama over what?

Guess I don't really see what the problem is unless you are mad your BB/DD was the oldest and now isn't. Who cares if they play with their classmates? Can you articulate the real impact of shifting the dates?

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Post by Ctrl Alt de Ligt on 10/12/19, 04:27 pm

1) The first season (whenever that may be) when kids can't understand when they can't play with their school (or preschool) friends.

HAHAHAHA!

2) Entering Kindergarten - When half the kids are in kindergarten & half are still in preschool, there is a huge different in mental abilities & focus. The preschoolers can't keep up and fall behind on the more difficult drills.

How difficult are the drills for the 5 year old over the 4 year olds?

3) 8th & 9th grade - When half the team is playing high school soccer (current 2005s), it's a disaster.

If you've been playing since step #1, play DA and that takes care of school problem.....

4) 12th grade & In college - The fall birth days have it bad in their senior year (current 2001s).

They are more concerned with ID camps....

Like anything, there are pros and cons to everything, but let's check these ridiculous excuses.

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Post by cenTex on 10/12/19, 04:50 pm

All of the below is clipped from the article that seems to be the source of the chatter...

US Soccer is mulling a change from its current birth year cutoff that was implemented in the fall of 2016. We haven’t seen anything from US Soccer yet though. Our guess is that this will be made official during the annual US Soccer Convention in January. Cincy SC’s official take (not trying to speak for an individual coach or parent though) is this:

  • The change to birth year in 2016 was a mistake and should be corrected.
  • The birth year cutoff is challenging socially at the youngest age groups (1st graders don’t want to play with 2nd graders, and vice versa), and a big problem each year for the trapped 8th graders and trapped Seniors whose former club teammates have now moved on to high school or college.
  • The BEST cutoff would match the school cutoff (i.e., Sept. 30, but not sure if that’s consistent across the US). US Soccer matching the culture of America (grouping by school year) is a better way to increase soccer participation than grouping like FIFA.
  • The compelling reason to “switch back” is that participation has decreased.

To those who are quite reasonably upset about this pending change, here are a few more thoughts:

  • Change is hard (but it’s easier for the kids than it is for the parents & coaches).
  • Having 2 systems as some have proposed (i.e., grandfathering older groups into keeping the birth year cutoff) is unrealistic and short-sighted (sorry); players can play up to solve that though.
  • Letting the frustration over the last change (to birth year in 2016) affect today’s thinking would be throwing good money after bad.
  • It will be easier this time, because now we’re pros at changing and because players will see some positives in it.
  • US Soccer’s leaders better have thick skin – they’re gonna need it.

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Post by Offsides on 10/12/19, 05:12 pm

Just something to make parents think that soccer is broken here in the USA..

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Post by MurderWasTheCase on 10/12/19, 07:31 pm

Offsides wrote:Just something to make parents think that soccer is broken here in the USA..

Nah this is just another distraction from the real reason that soccer in the USA is broken. Until we face the facts that coaching and pay to play is broken, nothing will improve.

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Post by Offsides on 10/12/19, 07:42 pm

Nope.. Little boys play Football NFL.. Baseball & Basketball.. Talent is depleted. Heck I dont enjoy Soccer love to watch my kids play. The WNT is #1 pretty hard to blame coaching or the system... Its the same.

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Post by MurderWasTheCase on 11/12/19, 07:40 am

Offsides wrote:Nope.. Little boys play Football NFL.. Baseball & Basketball.. Talent is depleted. Heck I dont enjoy Soccer love to watch my kids play. The WNT is #1 pretty hard to blame coaching or the system... Its the same.

You cannot compare the WNT and MNT, the competition level isn't remotely close. Women's soccer in the USA dominate as the rest of the world has very little focus on their woman's program.

Talent pool depleted is just another excuse to poor coaching.

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Post by Offsides on 11/12/19, 07:57 am

Nope...

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Post by Offsides on 11/12/19, 07:59 am

Perhaps the competition level would be better if the talent went towards soccer.. Excuses..

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Post by Offsides on 11/12/19, 08:16 am

Also there are MANY athletes excluded because its crazy the money spent on club sports. On the other side those with the money are being bled dry chasing the dream because we all know that ALL kids are capable of playing at a high level.. Sad fact is 90% of these parents would be better off putting their money in a college fund but the clubs dont want to turn anyone away so they have leagues for everyone.. Yet they do very little to help out the elite players. VERY VERY LITTLE...

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Post by Hat Trick Rick on 11/12/19, 09:29 am

Lets all be real here........the only effective solution is to get rid of both birth year AND school year cutoffs and make age groups based on birth month so no kid will ever have more than a 1 month advantage over anyone else unless they choose to play up............

Seriously though, what does calendar year or school year really matter?  Its all a 365 day window either way and if any particular player's primary concern is the social aspect, ie playing with classmates, etc... they sound like a great candidate for Rec soccer....

In the greater scheme of things school year or calendar year minimally, if at all, affects SOCCER development and which route US Soccer goes in the end is ultimately not going to make a single bit of difference, but what WILL make a difference is if they decide to keep switching things back and forth.  If they think participation had declined as of late, let them keep switching things back and forth and see what that does to participation.

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Post by Booya22 on 11/12/19, 11:19 am

I think the key issue is participation and participation is higher when kids get to play with their school friends. (I'm not defending the pay-to-play model or club coaching, but I think both are secondary.) If more US kids play soccer instead of basketball & football, our national team will be better and culturally the US will care more about soccer a generation from now. Age Pure hurts that especially at a young age (and so does Ctrl Alt de Ligt's comments focusing on the DA program).

There are many 5'10" point guards who would have made much better soccer players. If US kids played pick up soccer like they do pick up basketball, we'd have a much better national team. I doubt we dominate international basketball because our AAU basketball coaches are so good. It's because our best athletes play basketball all the time in an informal setting in their neighborhoods.

And then Age Pure's club experience for 8th-9th graders, and some high school seniors is messed up. 99% of soccer players aren't playing in college and let's make their experience good.

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Post by Anarchy on 11/12/19, 12:24 pm

Thank you all for the reading material on my lunch break! I was not a fan of changing to age pure, but it was done and caused chaos for players, teams and clubs. The dust has settled and some now want to switch back?? I see no advantage to putting all affected parties through that again. More players would quit rather than change teams again. Maybe it's just me, but I never played soccer with the expectation that I would be playing with classmates. I can't even think of more than a handful of kids that my kids played with that went to the same school. Maybe if I were rich and lived in Southlake my kids could play club with their classmates.

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Post by Ctrl Alt de Ligt on 11/12/19, 08:34 pm

Booya, I'm being super facetious about the DA comment. My point is....are we serious that more little kids will play if their classmates do? That will fix the USMNT? Come on!

Now, I have to go get my son. He's down at the park playing soccer with all of the neighborhood kids. (***sarcasm***)

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Post by Booya22 on 12/12/19, 07:44 am

Ctrl Alt de Ligt - Yes - More little kids will play soccer because they can play with their classmates. That’s what often happens when kids are 3-6 years old.

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Post by Offsides on 12/12/19, 07:59 am

Hey we all know anything can be fixed with money.. Guess where that money comes from parents. I mean you really think the clubs & coachs will ever say hey we cant compete because soccer is not the biggest talent magnet for little boys. No they can develop thats the issue and all you need to do is pay. We got a place for your superstar on the #2.. #3.. #6.. #12 #15.. #22.. #30.. #45.. Or #102.. And surprise surprise you all pay the same other than a few discounts. Then throw in politics the who knows who rub my back and you get watered down crap. The sad truth.

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Post by Ctrl Alt de Ligt on 12/12/19, 08:03 am

Gotcha, my son started at 6 and has never played with a classmate. So, I can’t offer an opinion on what will improve the game for 3-6 year olds.

Wait....3-6? We’re talking about day care, preschool and kindergarten classmates?

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Post by sigbronco on 12/12/19, 08:53 am

Regarding playing with friends. Are the kids not able to make new friends with their team? I think it’s more of the parents not wanting to socialize with new parents. I tend to see most kids being able to get along with other kids.

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Post by Offsides on 12/12/19, 09:38 am

The best advise I can give based on my 03G & 09G is be realistic about your kid and their ability. Dont trust your club or coachs to have your kids best interst in mind. You are dropping $50,000+ and unfortunately there is no amount of money that can buy natural talent. I watched my 03G go through it and drank the Kool Aid until she turned 12. She was on a top 3 team and her birthday was August so she did have an advantage. She had skill and natural talent but not the competive drive and I recognized that yes she could still be a big help but was it worth $8000 a year for her to help her club and team because reality was there were 4 players that were the real focus. We left she received free rides and partial scholarships on other teams but when she turned 12 I asked her do you want to work as a Referee or play. She chose to referee and I pushed her to upgrade as soon as she met the requirements. She is now 17 she has learned so much from her job and I have learned from her as well. I cant say being a Referee is for everyone but its a great opportunity for a 12 year old to make some money.. learn about work and still be involved in the sport. She has played with her highschool team and done REC with buddies when she feels the need to play. This weekend she is working on her fitness test to upgrade to Grade 7D then we are moving on to Grade 6 and my dream is to see her officiate a College game one day heck maybe even be a FIFA Ref because that is her dream now. Also enjoy them when they are little when the games dont matter when they can wear funky socks and be kids.. Dont be in a rush to jump into the academy fire.

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Post by CardinalRule on 12/12/19, 03:56 pm

Why didn't Football, Baseball or Basketball go to an age pure model? Because it's a dumb idea. The entire reason for going age pure was to bring us in line with the international community, but it was voluntary.

If you think boys aren't influenced by what their friends are doing, all you need to do is watch one youth football practice. Half the kids are out there because they want to play with their friends. Many of the top athletes drop out of soccer around U9 or U10 to play football. Half of them won't ever make it in football because they aren't the prototypical size for their position, but they could make really good soccer players and stay active. When they realize they are too small or don't like getting knocked unconscious, it's too late to go back to soccer. However small that talent drain may be, it hurts the competitiveness and popularity of the sport and will ultimately hurt the US's ability to compete.

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Post by schmuck on 13/12/19, 11:05 am

Booya22 wrote:Ctrl Alt de Ligt - Yes - More little kids will play soccer because they can play with their classmates. That’s what often happens when kids are 3-6 years old.

This is silly. If your kid wants to play with classmates the only way they will really be able to do that is to play middle and high school soccer. Or play rec. the younger kids can play up. If you play club, it is very unlikely your child will play with kids from the same city, let alone the same school. It is unusual but both my kids play competitive with several other kids from the same city. Neither of my kids go to the same school as anyone on their team, even with several of them living in the same city. Sounds like what you are wanting is recreation soccer. I actually agree that age pure was not the right choice for rec soccer, but even when my kids played rec they did not play with classmates. Sure it was city based, but the odds of playing with classmates is still very low. My youngest had one kid from the same school on the same rec team. That was it. But, like said, they have made a lot of new friends. My oldest's best friends are all from growing up on the same competitive soccer team, not from school. If you want to play with classmates, join the school team. problem solved Very Happy

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